KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 1 — Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Dr Mohamed Khir Toyo has regarded Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election, Datuk Wan Farid Wan Salleh, as the underdog.
He said this was because in the last general election, BN had only won one of the four state seats in the constituency.
“So, being the underdog, we have to work harder,” he told reporters after the presentation of awards to students who excelled in the 2008 UPSR and PMR examinations and school uniforms, bags and shoes for the 2009 school session organised by the Youth and Puteri wings of the Cheras Umno division, here, today.
However, he said, as the Kuala Terengganu Umno division chief who won the post unopposed recently, Wan Farid was a suitable candidate for BN.
He believed that BN’s back-to-basic and house-to-house by-election campaign could help ensure victory for its candidate, besides its ability to respond clearly to the various allegations made by the opposition against BN.
Dr Mohamed Khir said BN, however, also had an advantage after the failure of Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition pact, to form a government on Sept 16 as promised to its supporters.
“Today, Pakatan Rakyat may have felt cheated by (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim. The Anwar factor can be reduced in Kuala Terengganu as his popularity has gone down to below 40 per cent, according to a recent survey,” he said.
Besides that, he added, the transfer of power from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would also give new hope to the voters in Kuala Terengganu.
Dr Mohamed Khir said PAS would meanwhile use religious issues to attack Umno but the party (Umno) could deal with this.
Asked about Umno’s stand in disallowing any of its candidates to use blogs to campaign, he said blogging should be encouraged as long as the blogs were not used to malign others but to share views.
“In fact, besides blogs, using voice mail and MMS should also be encouraged as these are new technology used by young people today. Preventing such usage will only go against the needs of our youths,” he said. — Bernama